Alibaba has announced a partnership with shopping community sites Mogujie in creating a Pinterest-like service through its eTao search engine called eTao Faxian, which means “discover.” Launched in beta after three months of research, the service involves social sharing of interests that help guide customers toward making purchase decisions through etao.com.
eTao is targeting 15% to 20% of the Chinese Internet population‘s needs for shopping-related searches and product comparisons in three to five years, Alibaba spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswire in December 2011. eTao aims to let users to search for more online and offline products, as well as buy items from overseas retail websites. Profitability is not their focus for the time being.
eTao Faxian’s target market is mostly the young female demographic. With the service, Mogujie users can now share their items, post shopping experiences, upload pictures, participate in recommendation groups, and so on. Visually, the new service incorporates elements that may be familiar to Pinterest users including layout, pinning, re-pinning and sharing features. Slightly different with the super-hot startup Pinterest, though, Mogujie features a buy button on every page, which aims to encourage female online shoppers to buy items pinned.
Mogujie focuses on women’s apparel and accessories, whereby users can see past, new, and relevant pictures. The photo-heavy interface is perceived as a means of attracting customers and keeping these engaged enough to find interesting items to buy.
More than 80% of Mogujie’s revenue comes from Taobao’s affiliate program, with its target market likewise being mostly young female shoppers. Mogujie is currently ranked 863 in Alexa China.
Alibaba Group owns eTao along with its portfolio of various e-commerce platforms. These include Business-To-Consumer (B2C) shopping site Taobao Mall (famously known as TMall), Consumer-To-Consumer (C2C) shopping site Taobao Marketplace, and Business-To-Business (B2B) shopping website Alibaba.com.
Taobao, the parent company of eTao is currently largest online retailer in the nation with 75% of market share, and is considered China’s version of eBay. The company launched its search engine to bolster its position as the top online retail and auction site according to Beijing research firm Analysys International.
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